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High-Tech Dog Collar Keeps Tabs On Pooches’ Health

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BOSTON (CBS) – No one has made it possible for people to talk with their dogs but a Burlington company says they have the next best thing. It’s a new collar that lets dog owners know exactly how their pets are feeling every minute of the day.

Jayne Gandrup of Sudbury has been testing Pet Pace on her 6-year-old pug named Charlie.

“A lot of times they don’t let you know when they are really sick until its almost too late and then you are rushing to the veterinarian, ” said Gandrup.

Using the new purple collar she is able to track Charlie’s vital signs 24/7 on her iPad, like his temperature, heart rate, breathing, along with his (normally low) activity level.

In one online chart you can see a spike in Charlie’s respiration.

“We had workmen out on the road so he probably got very excited,” laughed Gandrup.  If Charlie happened to spike a fever or become short of breath, Jayne gets an alert sent to her phone or email.

“It’s not just reading those signs it’s also putting it all together to  make a comprehensive health picture and pick up diseases when they just begin,” explained Asaf Dagan the chief veterinarian at Pet Pace.

Dog owners can already buy GPS collars and activity trackers but Pet Pace says their collar is different. “Pet Pace is the only collar that gives you a complete picture of the health status and well-being of the pet.”

It’s not just for dogs at home. The Andover Animal Hospital has been using the collars to monitor dogs post-surgery and at regular check-ups.

“This was a great way to take temperatures and take vitals without any invasive stuff. Just put a collar on their neck,” said Diane Tower, the hospital’s owner.

These collars could be a great way to catch warning signs for heat stroke or other diseases but vets say this is no substitute for professional care.

“This wouldn’t take the place of yearly blood work and having someone truly lay hands on the pets and listen to the heart and listen to the lungs, ” said MSPCA veterinarian, Caty Sumner.

For Gandrup, it’s part fun and part peace of mind.  “I think it’s just reassuring that he’s OK and everything is normal.”

Pet Pace, based in Burlington, is selling the collar for $150 plus $15 per month to keep tabs on your dog. Right now it’s only available in Massachusetts and Florida.

And cat lovers stay tuned. The feline collar should be out soon.

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